"The prevailing norms, which the overwhelming majority of Singaporeans accept, support teaching children about conventional families, but not about alternative, non-traditional families, which is what the books in question are about," Minister of Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim said Friday. He added: "Societies are never static, and will change over time. But NLB’s approach is to reflect existing social norms, and not to challenge or seek to change them." It was not clear how and when the books will be destroyed.

Singapore backs call to destroy gay-themed books

In Friday’s turnabout, the company told The Guardian that several links to its articles had been reinstated in Google’s European search service after the newspaper complained. Some of the articles were from 2010 about a soccer referee, now retired, who had been accused of lying about why he had awarded a penalty kick in a match in Scotland. Google declined to explain why it had removed the links this week, or its reasons for honoring The Guardian’s request to restore them. Critics said the episode highlighted a lack of transparency about how Google is carrying out the court order as it works through requests it has received for removing information, a number that has reached 70,000 and continues to grow.

Google Reinstates European Links to Articles From The Guardian - NYTimes.com

If upheld and then emulated by courts in other countries, said Michael Geist, a law professor at the University of Ottawa, the Internet could go from being perceived as a lawless place to “one where all courts apply” setting up conflicts between nations on several issues, particularly freedom of expression. “The judge recognizes that there is this global impact but doesn’t really want to deal with it,” said Professor Geist, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet law. “Where this decision goes off the rails is when the court decides its order making power is limitless.”

Canadian Judge Says Google Must Remove Links Worldwide - NYTimes.com

Twitter, Facebook blocked in Iraq

Internet users in Iraq have been blocked from visiting Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media sites out of fear that extremists are using the services to plot attacks, according to multiple reports on Friday.

The apparent outage comes amid heightened tensions in the nation, which seems to be heading towards a sectarian civil war. Sunni extremists backed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have marched through Mosul and Tikrit in recent days, and seem to be headd for Baghdad.

» via The Hill’s Hillicon Valley

Facebook claims to be in favor of free speech, and talks about protecting political expression, but they are not,” said Shahzad Ahmad of the group Bytes for All Pakistan, which campaigns for Internet freedom and has gone to court several times seeking to lift government restrictions in Pakistan.”For the sake of their own profits and business, they are caving in to anything the government demands.

Facebook Under Fire for Temporarily Blocking Pages in Pakistan - NYTimes.com

“We can block Twitter or Facebook in Russia tomorrow within a few minutes,” said Maksim Ksenzov, the deputy chairman at the Roskomnadzor agency, in an interview with a Russian newspaper published on Friday. “We do not see any risks in that.”

“If at any point we believe that the consequences of ‘switching off’ social networks will be less significant than the damage done to Russian society by the unconstructive position of the leadership of international companies, we will do what we have to under the law,” he added.

Russia threatens to ban Twitter - in minutes | TheHill

On Monday (May 5) Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law that will impose fines on creators or promoters of books, music, theater performances, and films that contain profanity. In addition, existing works that contain profanity will have to carry warning labels. This law takes effect July 1; a similar law that affects bloggers with more than 3,000 daily page views will take effect in August. Although the definition of “foul language” is not made clear, a panel of experts can be called in to determine if a particular word qualifies as profanity.

New Russian Law Will Ban All Profanity In The Arts | IdeaFeed | Big Think

The new edition of Taps at Reveille, the latest volume of The Cambridge Edition of the Works of F Scott Fitzgerald, restores Fitzgerald’s original prose in these and other stories, and is published this week by Cambridge University Press. “Major” changes have also been made to the story seen by many to be Fitzgerald’s masterpiece in the genre, Babylon Revisited, said CUP. General editor James West, Sparks Professor of English at Pennsylvania State University, believes the edition is important “because we want to read what Fitzgerald wrote, not what the editors at the Post thought he should have written”. “Before these stories were bowdlerised, they contained antisemitic slurs, sexual innuendo, instances of drug use and drunkenness. They also contained profanity and mild blasphemy. The texts were scrubbed clean at the Post,” he said.

F Scott Fitzgerald stories published uncensored for the first time | Books | The Guardian

The complaint argued that the book “encourages children to use violence against their fathers,” and demanded that the library “pay for damages resulting from the book.” The library’s Materials Review Committee, which takes all complaints, even those of obvious trolls, “very seriously,” declined to remove Hop on Pop. They described it as “humorous” and “well-loved,” and pointed out how many times it’s made best children’s book lists.

Toronto Library Asked to Ban Hop on Pop to Protect Dads

Theoretically, I could have sneaked something provocative into print. Before the edition went to the printer, I could have asked one of our page designers to switch the text. I knew they didn’t read the articles when they were working. But I would have lost my job, and it might have cost my boss his publishing licence. A lot of people might have lost jobs. I decided that nothing I could have possibly written would justify the human cost. So, the system works.

How censorship works in China’s media – Leslie Anne Jones – Aeon